The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit governed by an independent board of directors. Donations to the Highland Rivers Foundation are tax deductible. (Federal tax ID: 81-4628046). Our Director is Kathleen C. Varda, MSW. She can be reached (678) 558-4847 or kathleenvarda@highlandrivers.org.

Highland Rivers is a $75 million organization that provides services to uninsured and underinsured children, adults, veterans, and families with mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disabilities across 13 counties in Northwest Georgia.

About Kathleen Varda

Friends and supporters of Highland Rivers Foundation,

The last three years have tested the resiliency, character, and fortitude within HRF like no other. Today, I write with hope, as we reflect on the last three years of impact that the Highland Rivers Foundation has made on the lives of individuals served by Highland Rivers Behavioral Health. Through your unwavering support, we have achieved some remarkable milestones over the past three years

We understood how crucial it was to create a safe and nurturing space for children. We provided solace and a moment of respite to those on their journey to recovery. We extended a lifeline for individuals looking to begin anew. We empowered peers to share their voices and experiences. We took strides in educating and preventing issues in our community.

As we look ahead, the Highland Rivers Foundation remains committed to our mission. We are excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and we invite you to continue being a part of a lasting change in the lives of those we serve.

Being a part of this vibrant, determined, and diverse community, both in our present state and as we evolve into the future, goes beyond the limits of this impact report. If there’s one takeaway from the past three years, it’s the immense honor I’ve felt in leading the Highland Rivers Foundation. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing our people rise to meet the challenges of the times and pave the path into a safer world.

I can’t wait to see what the next three years will bring we grow, learn, and embark on exciting new adventures together. It’s going to be a journey filled with fresh opportunities  and  wonderful beginnings for all of us.

With gratitude and warm regards,

Kathleen Varda, Foundation Director
Highland Rivers Foundation

Foundation Leadership

Billy Hayes, Board Chair
CEO, Northside Hospital Cherokee

Oscar Guzman, Treasurer
Executive Director, Cedartown Performing Arts Center

Tonya Riddick, Secretary
Executive Director, FREEDOM Tax & Financial Services,
Executive Director, Smile Up Charitable Foundation

Harry Pence, Board Member
Raymond James & Associates

Melanie Dallas, CEO
Highland Rivers Foundation

Marla Flynn, CFO
Highland Rivers Foundation

Kathleen Varda, Foundation Director ()
Highland Rivers Foundation

Sherry McGee, Foundation Relations Officer
Highland Rivers Foundation